Because teaching in 2020 is hard…a GIVEAWAY!

Teaching in 2020 is no walk in the park….so I have a little present for three of my readers! It’s not going to make teaching during a pandemic any easier, but it just might just bring you a bit of sunshine. I was gifted this travel mug by a student a few years ago and it’s practically perfect in every way (as our dear Mary Poppins would say)! It keeps my tea nice and hot all day AND since it’s metal it’s survived more than a few falls. The lid keeps my computer safe (I’m a total klutz!) and since it has a straw, I can sip away during class, without taking off my mask! My original Simple Modern 16 oz Travel Cup is awesome but this year I upgraded to a bigger Simple Modern Classic 24 oz Tumbler and I’m so happy with it! And can we talk about how beautiful they are?! The color options are gorgeous!

If you’re teaching in person and wearing a mask all day…you need this! It will keep your hot drinks hot and your cold drinks cold. You can keep your face covered AND stay hydrated during class. Talk about a win-win-win!

If you’re teaching remotely, you also need this! Nothing will end a zoom session faster than spilling your coffee all over your laptop. (So they tell me…)

So, dear readers…you want one, right?! I’m giving away 3 Simple Modern Classic 24 oz Tumblers and the winners even get to pick their color! I know teaching during 2020 is rough, but let’s try to muster up a bit of positivity. To enter, comment on this post…I want to know what is going well in your classroom (physical or virtual) right now. What’s a celebration or success you’ve had? No matter how big or small the victory, you’ll be in the drawing! And if you want a second chance to enter, you can hop on over to my Señora Chase Facebook page and enter there too! On Sunday, Oct 3 I’ll randomly pick 2 comments from the blog and one from the Facebook. I’ll send the winners an email/FB message asking them to pick their favorite mug and for their address. The Amazon fairies will take care of the rest and your fancy new travel mug will arrive shortly.

And because I’m a little extra, not only will the winners get the best travel mug, in their choice of color, they’ll also get a set of Stainless Steel Straws because while nearly everything about the Smart Modern Travel Mug is perfection, the plastic straw is not. (You could say it sucks!) It makes my hot tea taste funny. The Stainless steel straws solve the problem and the silicone tips are a nice bonus because they prevent you from knocking out a tooth while you’re slyly taking a sip under your mask. (If you’re extra too…you might consider coordinating the silicone tip with your outfit. I might do that. It’s the little things that bring me much joy.)

That’s it…all you have to do is comment! You don’t even have to subscribe to my little blogcito to enter, but I’m getting pretty close to 1,000 followers, so you just might want to join the party anyway! At the bottom of every post, there’s a spot to enter your email to subscribe!

The fine print: This post is not sponsored by anyone other than Sra. Chase! I love these travel mugs and I want to share them with you! However, since the links above are Amazon Associate links, if you click on a link and buy something, anything, I’ll earn a small commission and it won’t cost you a penny! It’s a small way you can help support this little blogcito, if you’d like to 🙂 And…If you’re reading outside the US, I really love you and I’d really love to include you…I just don’t think I can afford the shipping on these beauties! I’m sorry!

Congratulations, winners!

Congratulations to Jane and Jennifer de la Garza, our winners! Check your email for details 🙂

Eeeww, gross. Please ignore my dirty fingernails. (I have a strong suspicion that my dirty nails are the reason my cooking blog never took off. Well, that and because I hated waiting for my hubby to take beautiful pictures of our food before chowing down. And because writing down measurements in the kitchen cramps my style and…)

56 Comments

    1. Latin teacher, here, but I find your blog one of the best for all kinds of ideas.

      This year, I finally jumped feet first into Special Person interviews and cannot say enough good things about it! I’ve never had so much fun learning about my students. We do a Write & Discuss afterwards and use that text the rest of the week in a myriad of ways to get in so much more input!

      Keep up the uplifting and inspiring posts!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. My kids started discussing Juan Luis Guerra’s Kitipun after hearing it during a descansito on Friday. Comments galore in the chat, completely unsolicited by me! Its the little things…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ¡Hola!
    Teaching during COVID 19 has definitely been challenging but I am thankful to see some positives arrive from it too! This experience has made it more clear to our small district what the gaps are that have caused families and students to fall through the cracks. We saw that so clearly in the Spring and have been able to address the majority of the concerns this Fall. It has caused us to up our game in the realm of technology and, well, that’s a huge plus for all students in this digital age (and us educators too)! With the increased use of technology, I have seen more student work returns, been more quickly able to provide positive feedback, and it’s really made me appreciate more than ever the power of connection with my students!
    What a fun drawing you are doing but also what a great idea to help each of us focus on what good has come out of such a quirky year!!!
    Thanks!!!
    Christine Voelker
    Washington State 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Teachers on my Spanish teams have been rallying together more than ever. We are dividing and conquering our tasks because it makes no sense for a teacher to work in isolation if they don’t have to.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you so much for all of your tips and tricks. I enjoyed your comprehensible online presentations in the spring and have just recently rediscovered your blog with awesome Google forms tips and tricks.

    My French classes are going awesome. My students tell me it is one of the best parts of their day and I am seeing HUGE gains in language acquisition!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Finally I am getting the hung of teaching face to face and remotely at the same time! Thank you for suggesting the microphone is saving me voice and my students can hear me pretty good! Also, the stories we have been using have been great! Thank you for your advice, tips, and ideas !

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What’s going on in our classes, physical or virtual? Hmmm… my classes are mostly physical, but some of my students are logging in live virtually. We are masked, socially distanced, and sanitizing everything every period. We just finished week 3. My co-worker retired (hello pandemic), and my school’s budget is not in great shape, so my course load doubled this year. I am now teaching grade 5 through 12 instead of 9 through 12. The grades 5 and 6 exploratory classes haven’t started yet. I will have them for one trimester each. I came up with a skeleton outline with the Japanese and French teachers, but need to fill in the blanks by Thanksgiving. Grades 7 and 8 are new to me this year. They are doing Somos. I’m basically doing the same thing with both of them since grade 8 did not do CI last year, though they are going faster than grade 7. Grades 9 and 10 are also doing Somos, but I started off grade 10 with Esperanza from Fluency Matters to kind of review what they learned last year and to honor Hispanic Heritage Month. Grades 11 and 12 are combined in a two year Spanish 4/5 class, but there are two sections. I wrote them a curriculum over the summer. They are studying regions of the Spanish speaking world, first the Caribbean islands because here in NY most of our heritage speakers are from the DR or PR, then Mexico y América Central, then España con Guinea Ecuatorial, South America part way through third quarter to the end of the year (after Spring Break). They are doing reading groups on Mondays to differentiate between the three different levels in the classes (two sections of that class). I also have a senior heritage speaker doing an independent study because he needs more enrichment. He just did his first presentation to one of the other classes. I’m super busy and trying to hold it together.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I just love you so much! Your blogs help me to stay positive. I know that you are also a very devout Christian, so it helps to know that too! I am starting to get the hang of Google Classroom, and I just found out that there is a Google Classroom Birthday Celebration extension. It throws confetti on the screen!!! I am so excited!!!! I love to celebrate my kiddos’ birthdays, so this makes me smile!! 🤩🤩🥳🥳😊😊😊
    Have a blessed week!
    Lots of love,
    Jennifer

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So I am deciding to comment with a DIFFERENT positive comment here than on FB. Ha ha. There are many. My volleyball translation last week couldn’t have gone better. I have a particularly challenging class (end of the day, very small) during one of my hybrid days and I ended up grouping some kids who often struggle with the hope they’d rise the challenge, and they did. I use volleyball translation not only to review a given text, but to teach them rejoinders and words of encouragement like “great job” “perfect” “nicely done” and constructive helpful criticism like “again!” “together” “everybody” “you can do it” “better”. It keeps my listeners listening and my speakers thinking and speaking and builds great memories and camaraderie. I basically step back and let them judge each other (making sure it’s all appropriate, encourage and model to them how to do it, how to encourage, what is an appropriate comment here… how can they do it right, what is it they need to do….) And some classes take longer b/c they take a while to settle down (one kid might be laughing, another says they don’t know what it means… and so I teach them to agree ahead of time on the meaning and then say it….) Really it’s a nice “breather” for me that keeps them in the language, focused, and building community. So glad a few things are going really well.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mil Gracias, Sra.! I love all that you share. Last week in Spanish 4, I asked my students to stand up (so that they could more easily make eye contact with their partner from 6′) and one student said ‘Thank God!’ – Because they got to stand up!! It’s the little things that are helping all of us through the distanced, masked days:)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sra Chase…your ideas have livened up my classroom more than once for SURE! one thing I am doing differently this year is using google forms to count up my Hispanic Heritage month song votes. Saves SO MUCH TIME!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Annemarie, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and ideas with those of us who are in need of inspiration and encouragement. I just love reading your blog; you have the best sense of humor! A success I’ve had is with your “La Estrella del Día” activity. I used it with my second year students last week and they LOVED it! It is so excellent for building community and make connections, not to mention the input the students get. ¡Muchísimas gracias por todo!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This year has been brutal on so many levels – balancing work and family has been tough. One positive is that even after 14years – I still love “the work” and know that I am improving my craft every single day… with the amazing and generous support of incredible virtual PLC pros like Señora Chase – my little darlings are embracing the journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for all you do to support us all! One thing that went well this week was making my normal TPR set into a mini story and following it up with a clip chat of a similar storyline (where students were able to create
    a backstory). It was fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I have enjoyed reading your posts. You are so honest and I love that. We all try to look good to others, and by you leading the way of showing your vulnerability, I feel like I do not have to act like all is ok. I thank you for your encouragement and for being transparent, which makes me want to be transparent as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh, I should read directions! I would say the success is the students’ writing and speaking skills growing immensely through just CI and not constant textbook work.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What’s going great with my F2F classes (Middle School Beginning Spanish): This year my students seem extra motivated and inquisitive (and I love when they ask questions). I’ve pushed myself to find ways for them to interact in class without being close, and the school bought for me Garbanzo and Sr. Wooly yearly subscriptions!
    With my e-learners, I have learned to slow down even more because it is soooo needed online. Also my patience has grown exponentially among the “Are you there, Charlie?”, “You are muted” “Please mute yourselves”, etc.:)
    Thanks for doing this. If I don’t win a mug, well, at least I had the chance to share some of my thoughts. I like sharing what’s going well, because on the other side of the spectrum, we can all find many things to fix.
    Take care,
    Luisa

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This year has been challenging. We are teaching hybrid. I have found that posting things on the wall for them to get up and get moving still work. I print twice the copies and put one copy in the hall and one around the room. This way my smallish hybrid classes are still very spaced out but can get up and move. I might stay with this idea once all is normal. Sometimes I post questions for them to answer, a pic to write about, a pic to match to a writing they have, corre en circulos, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Love this! Ok, so this year I was terrified what would happen, but decided to stick with fun stories anyway. We were 100% in person and just finished week 3 with an assessment. Since it’s hard for me to really “connect” and check in with 25ish kids with masks, sitting behind barriers, each in their own desk, while simultaneously tuning in to my few virtual students, I was nervous. However, THEY ALL DID GREAT on the assessment!!!! Whew! I guess they ARE really with me!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. My year has been great. My kids are deeply thankful to be back face to face. They walk out telling all who will listen that Spanish is their favorite class. I teach grades 1-12. I am putting in close to 50 hours each week. But I love my kids!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I have been in person since august 5, and honestly it has gone really well. The kids really want to be in school! I did a check in last week with a google form and received so much positive feedback about our curriculum (first year using somos!).

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I teach multiple levels of Spanish and have gradually been switching all of my classes over to CI for the last few years and I finally have all of my classes switched over this year and it’s just so much fun! I thought my seniors might not be too keen on storyasking and acting it out, but I think they’re having the most fun with it out of everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. We are on a Hybrid model where I see A group on M/T and B group on Th/F. Because there are fewer students face to face I am getting to know the students much faster and they are forming a community much faster as well. My 7th grade Exploratory class has been rocking the reading and and are still excited to learn and participate!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. One success I’ve had this year is being a FBI agent of sorts. We have been doing card talk, and I have been writing down every single thing I’ve learned about them on the back of the cards. I then like to pull out the cards and ask them questions about things they’ve mentioned either in free writes or in class. I’ve definitely surprised them, but I’m doubling down on connection / community this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I love your blog – it’s always positive and has creative ideas that I can implement in my classroom!
    At the moment I’m teaching hybrid so I have half my class in the classroom and half are at home on a Google Meet. The thing tht’s working for me is carrying around a second Chromebook while I teach so I can present my slideshow on my whiteboard with one Chromebook, but I can see all the faces on the other Chromebook that I carry around, and they also see my face. It helps me get them engaged!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Other than masks, extra handwashing and sanitizing of everything, and staying 6 foot apart, my school year has been normal. We´re in school full time, except for a few students out occasionally to quarantine. It is great and I hope we can keep this up as long as possible!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. You are awesome! My school is in person and doesn’t require masks. It is a bit surreal. We have to stay distanced and at the beginning of the year I wasn’t doing anything fun because I didn’t know how! I started playing music and found games that didn’t involved touching. We are having fun again and it feels great!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Last week during first hour we were going to take a Reading Test. However, my lack of tech skills and the internet were against us. By 6th hour I had learned a lot and the internet was back on. This meant my classes were “off”. The next day, 1st and 5th hours took their test, but 6th hour was open. I decided to use their readers. We all disinfected our hands and got a reader. They read two pages. Then I started the Lucky Card Game. Three students (one from each team) went to three locations away from others. They raised their hand instead of using white boards. I made a show of closing my eyes and drew a card for the winners. They loved it! Afterwards the winners got a sello to put toward extra credit. Extra time used in a positive way thanks to Señora Chase! It has been difficult this year and that class was the best hour of my year so far!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Celebrations so far this year….1) I’m incorporating more Write & Discuss and loving the results. 2) I’ve added more listening quizzes in my PreAP class using your listening proficiency quiz which has been great 3) I also totally revamped my entire first unit for my Sp 4 PreAP students with a much stronger base on proficiency and culture (based on Bolivian women embroidering masks during the pandemic). I thoroughly enjoyed teaching it and my students said they really enjoyed it too.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Thank you for all of your ideas and your positive attitude! I have used many ideas from your blog, and have found them to be successful in class. I did the back to school Kahoot and my students loved it! I am hybrid, so I am still trying to navigate activities that can be successful in person and virtual students at the same time. Engaging the students at home is my biggest challenge. I can’t wait to be back in person- and bring back the lucky reading game. That is one of my all time favorites.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Your “Lightning Fast Listening Quizzes” have worked like a dream for my virtual classroom! I use them at least every-other-class for a quick gauge on how students processed what we’ve been discussing and I love that they are no-effort grading. They also are the magical combination of a mini-assessment that holds students accountable (because they know success will be super-easy as long as they have been paying attention and engaging) without being threatening or intimidating (because it’s only 5 questions, they’re True/False, etc.). Thank you for generously sharing this innovation!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. After 25+ years of teaching Spanish, I have completely thrown out the textbook! I now teach using various Fluency Matters novels, Sr. Wooly, and amazing activities (such as yours) that I find from the Internet and TPT. It is so liberating and the students really enjoy it! Amidst masking up, social distancing and sanitizing, I am at peace! God bless you for helping me remain positive and sane during a very insane time!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Going well for me is the picture talks with the question words on the side and the target words across the top.
    (Not so well- assessment)- I need ideas for different assessments other than our LMS and paper/ pencil type.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas and hacks. I love getting your blog and am constantly amazed by the great ideas you have. I’d love to be a student in your class. Ha! I teach ASL and am back in the classroom with my little darlings. It’s soooooo good to see their faces again. We aren’t fans of wearing the masks all day but bringing in a mask break or two helps and it beats the alternative! Thanks again for all you do!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Currently I have been teaching virtually for the start of 3 weeks but that may/mostly likely will change tonight at the board meeting and we’ll be f2f. Best part, starting to get to know some of my kiddos, greeting each by name as they enter the virtual class, seeing puppers and kitters. I had many of my 6th graders doing animal noises as we were getting reps of dice!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. How awesomely nice of you! It has been a rough start to the 2020-2021 school year. We started face-to-face, went hybrid for a few weeks, and now are back to everyone, in person, everyday. My Spanish 1 classes take a lot of my energy and they are full-mostly every seat taken! I really enjoy teaching them, we are doing a lot of TPR things and CI at the moment. I think they enjoy the wacky Spanish classes, which are so different than regular classes. You never know what will happen!
    Soon, we will be stories and circling. In preparation today,l they had to ‘draw a sentence’. For instance, I said” El gato toma el libro grande” and they tried to draw it after practicing ‘toma’ today.
    Okay, that is probably more than you want o know, but I got carried away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love it!! Something fun, when you need something new and novel, (after they’re used to drawing sentences) is draw w your non dominate hand, draw with your feet, draw without looking 🙂

      Like

  36. 3 weeks in virtually, should be hybrid in about a month. Making connections online is slow going to each one feels like a little victory this year, Adapting some of our routines, like calendar, to online, is working better than I thought it might. There’s also plenty of room for improvement 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Thanks for all that you do! You always give great ideas. We are hybrid; it has been very hard and I am struggling balancing the online with those in front of me…I feel like I am not doing well for either group. I have been trying to use mire brain breaks which is fun and I have learned a lot more about technology…and I do have the hang of it a lot more! Baby steps. My department is sooooooo supportive; everyone helps everyone else out!

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Muchas gracias por tu apoyo y ayuda. We are going into week five of teaching and learning in the hybrid model. Am I crazy for saying that I actually love teaching block on a block schedule both virtual and in-person and appreciate the opportunity to try new things?! My greatest success so far is being able to complete the ¨persona especial¨ interviews with both my virtual and in-person students, celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month through a research project and connecting with my students! Thank you for your positivity and hard work! It’s always appreciated….Now time to go purchase a shirt like yours!

    Un abrazo (virtual)

    Liked by 1 person

  39. You are the sweetest!

    I’m in week 4 of virtual teaching and I MISS MY STUDENTS SO MUCH 😦 But, this is about celebrations so, I will say that today, for the first time, about half of the class turned their cameras on! I actually got to see their faces! (We can’t require it in our district) It was wonderful. So, baby steps.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. We just went from hybrid to remote in our district but luckily kids have been so much more active in their learning and advocating for anything missing or confusing that they come across. Good things do happen!

    Liked by 1 person

  41. I work as a Spanish teacher in a Elementary school, my students don’t get a grade. Before our virtual clases started I was overthinking and getting nervous “what about if my students don’t show up”. I understand that they have to complete assignments for other classes and the parents can’t help them all the time. I have been teaching for two weeks now and today I had my first full class (25 kids) nobody was absent. My other classes have had between 3 and 4 students absent. I am so proud of that because it means I am doing something right. My students are excited about learning Spanish and culture from
    around the world!! 💕 🌎

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Your blog posts about Google have been so very helpful to me this year. Right now I am teaching 100% virtual and the tricks you’ve taught me have made it much easier. I always enjoy reading your blog posts and refer to them frequently. Thanks for all you do to help other teachers!

    Liked by 1 person

  43. We’ve been rotating 50% in class for a week at a time and 50% virtual learning. It’s been super stressful planning 3 preps per subject I teach (3 different ones this year). This week we transitioned back to 100% in class 4 days a week with Virtual Friday’s. I feel like my students are NOT interacting and participating and they aren’t grasping the concepts as quickly as in years past…so I decided to RESTART/REVIEW this week with everyone in the class and move forward next week. Need to up my game….working on that plan today!

    Liked by 1 person

  44. I teach French levels 1 and 2. I am virtual all year. It has been a bit of an adjustment having to be in front of a computer all day! It’s not really my cup of tea but I keep getting up everyday and try to do my best for the students who make the effort to attend! I get so many great ideas from you and appreciate your positivity and kindness in sharing with us!

    Liked by 1 person

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